Aditya Mehta new Asian champion
DOHA INDIA’S Aditya Mehta exhibited superb touch and sound temperament as he beat two world champions in a single day to win the Asian Snooker Championship final crown on Saturday.
At the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation’s Hall, Mehta was up against former world title holder Pankaj Advani in an all- Indian final, the second in the Asian snooker history. This was his third final since 2008. But this time he did not make any mistakes and won the clash by 11-90 (60), 72-57, 76-9, 0-139 (116), 74-22. 56-60, 77- 7, 72-64, 80-0, 40-82, 9-99 (54), 59-47 scoreline.
Earlier in the day, Mehta knocked out reigning world champion Hossein Vafaei Ayouri 6-3 frames to win the semi-final. In the second semi-final, Advani equalised four times against 2009 World Under-21 winner Noppon Saengkham before sealing the win by 6-4 frames.
Even against fluent and fearless hitter Mehta, Advani was under pressure constantly. He led 1-0 but Mehta tied the scores 1-1 and then forced him to come back twice to draw levels. One of Advani’s three notable breaks was in three figures (116 in the fourth frame). But Mehta, who may not match Advani in his green baize feats (seven world titles in both billiards and snooker), showed he was also made of quality stuff, going 6-3 frames up.
Advani again fought back to cut down the margin to 5-6. Mehta held his nerves and clinched the title with 59-47 result in the 12th frame.
Mehta first reached the Asian final in 2008, going down to Chinese Jin Long in Dubai. Three years later, he qualified for the titleclash again but was beaten by Thai Passakorn Suwannawat by 2-6. In Doha, the 26-year-old player did not let the chance slip and won the final after playing for more than five and half hours.
Only two frames in the final – sixth and eighth – saw tight finishes.
One frame was taken by Advani to make it 3-3 and other was bagged by Mehta when he led 5-3.
Mehta reached the colour stage in the sixth frame with a narrow three-point edge and later he had just needed the pink to take the frame. But Advani, with deft touches, kept it out of his reach. Mehta fouled also for mishit and Advani cleared both the balls to deadlock the scores 3-3.
Mehta charged early and got 30- 0 up. But Advani replied to grab 64-30 lead with neat breaks and potting. But he missed the green and committed two more fouls later on to allow Mehta to reach 46- 64. Mehta intelligently blocked blue. When Advani failed to clear it, Mehta swept all the remaining balls to win the frame 72-64.
RESULTS FINNAALL Aditya Mehta (India) beat Pankaj Advani (India) 7-5 [11-90 (60), 72-57, 76-9, 0-139 (116), 74-22, 56-60, 77-7, 72-64, 80-0, 40-82, 9-99 (54), 59- 47] SSEEMMI--FINNAALLSS Pankaj Advani (India) beat Noppon Saengkham (Thailand) 6-4 [25-79 (52), 91-6, 48-69, 58-47, 0-90 (84), 78- 36, 0-71 (67), 61(52)-16, 74(59)-0, 61-49] Aditya Mehta (India) beat Hossein Vafaei Ayouri (Iran) 6-3 [51-27, 85(54)-0, 60-72 (60), 6-86 (86), 49-79, 95(76)-0, 61-17, 70-37, 89-0]